In Latin America, more and more mobile phone companies appear in the market offering different plans for minutes, data and social networks. Not only large companies, but also small and medium-sized ones with less massive audiences, are aiming to sell their own SIM cards.
According to Sergio Cano, CEO of the Ingenium technology group in Spain, in the Colombian case there is still great growth potential for virtual operator companies since networks have a high capacity to monetize and therefore, the offer in mobile telephony is not varied.
It is important to highlight that there is a difference between a virtual mobile operator and the large telephone companies known by the majority of the population.
What are virtual mobile operators (MVNO)
They are mobile phone brands that offer plans for minutes, data and social networks, but they do not have their own radio network and do not have a spectrum award directly by the state in question.
According to the above, radio networks are the antennas and artifacts that allow a company to use and manage the spectrum which is administered by governments and given in concession for a period of time to certain companies. In the case of Colombia, there are 4 companies to which the state awarded the spectrum to offer telephony services that are managed through the aforementioned radio antennas.
Likewise, the spectrum is the medium through which electromagnetic waves circulate that allow mobile telephone communication.
And this is where the MVNOs come in to play an important role in the telecommunications sector, since companies that have direct rights to the spectrum maintain vacant and available capacity that they lease to other companies together with the networks to offer the same mobile telephony services in the market, but with different plans.
Cano, says the following “That spectrum has a vacant capacity, and the telephone companies make it profitable or rent it, that is, they lease it to virtual operators, they are called virtual because they do not have their own radio network.”
However, offering mobile telephony services is not something new in terms of the development of communication technologies, then the added value of the operators lies in the fact that they direct their plans to niches.
Sergio says “it is the same that happens in any other area of human consumption, you have generalist brands that are valid for everything and then you have specialist brands, the OMV is the specialist brand”
However, what has also drawn attention is the way in which mobile telephony has served as a way to generate a sense of belonging among different groups of people such as followers of internet celebrities. Such is the case of the influencer, Luisito Comunica, who released his own microchip for his subscribers.
Likewise, Sergio recounts the case of sports clubs that have launched their own virtual operators with their fans in mind.
With the above,or what could be considered novel in the mobile telephony sector, is the way in which it is working as one more market loyalty strategy, understood as a strategy for generating identity among the public.
However, the main stakeholders in accessing virtual mobile telephony are the local operators of other types of communications servicesSergio Cano indicates that it is a natural step for this type of company.
Ingenium is a Spanish conglomerate of technology companies, which operates in Colombia from the Suma Móvil Colombia company, which offers companies and individuals interested in creating their own mobile phone brand, the necessary technical tools to make it a simple and agile process.